herald

Monday 25 September 2017

'I don't know how to address these gangster slayings' -- parish priest

A parish priest in Cabra has spoken of how the witnesses of crime boss Eamonn Dunne's killing are severely traumatised after the incident.

Fr John Greene, parish priest of Church of the Most Precious Blood, Cabra is helping the witnesses to recover from the trauma of seeing the killing of one of the city's biggest druglords.

The parishioners who were socialising in the Faussagh House pub last Friday night have been turning to their local parish priest for comfort ever since the killing.

Fr Greene told the Herald yesterday: "I've spoken to some people who witnessed it, and for them it was a horrifying experience.

"Naturally everyone is shocked about it. Cabra is a relatively quiet area, especially in the last few years."

The parish priest described the ruthless violence of gangs in the city as "very sad" and he said nothing can be done to stop it unless the criminals themselves sit up and listen.

Fr Greene said this week is the first time he has had to deal with the repercussions of a gangland killing in his parish, and he feels powerless because he can't address the criminals themselves.

"What can you say unless you're speaking directly to the people. It's very hard to say anything. If you're involved in drugs and activities like this, and criminal groups are getting involved in conflicts with one another, it's very sad and certainly I would be discouraging young people from getting involved."

The latest episode in gangland crime marred the ordinary celebration of a 38th birthday in the pub and it undermined life itself, according to the priest.

"It's in the vicinity. I wasn't there at the time but it certainly would have been terrible at the time. That it could happen at an ordinary event is terrible. It certainly devalues life to think that life is taken away in an instant."

A retired parish priest from Cabra told the Herald that Fr Greene is doing his best to deal with the aftermath of the shooting incident.

"He is fairly proactive, and he's trying to help the people get over it."

Meanwhile, Fr Greene stressed that Cabra is a good parish and the criminals are a minority among the thousands of good parishioners.

"Cabra is full of good people. I don't think it's going to affect them in any sense. It's only a minority that is involved in these killings. Hopefully it's the last time.

"I don't know what motivates people to get involved in drugs and illegal activity. I can't address it because I don't know how to."

ggittens@herald.ie

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